In 1986, after the birth of her first child, Joyce started work at Robertson’s where she found a liaison Committee and no trade union. Workers faced many problems, the women faced sexual harassment e.g. they had to trade sex for jobs, there were separate bathrooms and canteens for Black & White workers and workers got increases on whim of managers or not Joyce Pekaneat all. Career Life : When asked about her involvement with trade unions, Pekani argued that it may have to do with her background as a student activists during 1976 students riots.
Being a student at that time and involved in such activities exposed her to the South African politics of racial discrimination and inequality. Former Second Vice “President of COSATU She is currently a member of Gau-
teng Legislature. She was instrumental in organising her company under CWIU – (Chemical Workers Industrial Union) and was elected to the posi-tion of 1st Vice President if CWIU in 1997 and she was the 1st woman president in 1997. She was then elected to the position of 2nd Deputy President of COSATU. In 1999 to 2003. In 2004 she was CEPPWAWU’s 2nd Deputy President.
She was appointed to the Gauteng Provincial Legislature as a ANC Mem-ber of Provincial Legislature after the 2004 national elecyions. So Joyce, together with a fellow worker, made contact with the CWIU and began to organise workers in the factory. Soon the company was forced to recog-nise the union as a majority of workers had joined it. For most union activ-ists, participation in the trade union movement also meant challenging the norms and stereotypes of race and gender that were so prevalent in life in apartheid society. Often this meant challenging deep seated beliefs and practices that had permitted individual lives of unionist as people having to survive under apartheid and the collective lives of unions and the move-ment.